A man is accused of setting up fake companies to sell the U.S. military vehicle parts that didn't work, and it appears he made good money doing it.
Now he's facing criminal prosecution — years after the Defense Department started doing business with the man's shell companies.
As New Jersey's Star-Ledger reported, the Defense Department awarded multiple contracts to 38-year-old Alper Calik over the past five years, arranging with the man's two New Jersey-based companies to obtain spare parts for amphibious assault vehicles and nuclear attack submarines.
The problem, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in New Jersey: The parts didn't work, and they weren't from the Garden State but were rather manufactured in Calik's native Turkey.
A U.S. Marine amphibious assault vehicle maneuvers in rough seas during a mock beach assault with their Philippine counterparts as part of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training along the beach at a Philippine naval training base facing the South China Sea in San Antonio, Zambales province, north of Manila on June 30, 2014. (Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images)
Calik was arrested Saturday as he returned to the U.S., the Washington Times reported, and faces up to 60 years in prison if convicted of two counts of mail fraud, related to his Defense Department contracts, and one count related to the Arms Export Control Act, which he allegedly violated when he downloaded thousands of military blueprints while he was home in Turkey.
It's unclear why the U.S. military took so long to catch on to Calik's strategy, though it does seem evident that the Turk made substantial amounts of money off the deals.
According to small business directory Manta.com, one of Calik's companies, Tunamann LLC, "has an annual revenue of 100000 and employs a staff of approximately 1."
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